WIAW – Pre-Race Meals


Although I eat a fairly high in complex carbohydrate diet on a daily basis, I still make adjustments to what I eat in preparation for races.

Let’s take a look at what I ate last Friday, the day before I ran the Aspire 10k race. Even though I handle fiber extremely well and can totally run on veggies, I wanted to skip eating vegetables completely before the race because I do think that I run better (and feel lighter) without them.


I had my usual pre and post run bowls of oatmeal (only pre-run bowl is pictured today) with a few cups of my new favorite coffee. The Stew Leonard’s Donut Shop Blend is so good! It’s noticeably better than the Trader Joe’s K Cups I had been drinking every morning.

oatmeal and coffee

My post-run bowl of oatmeal looked the same as the above only it had banana, Skoop B-Strong and egg whites mixed in 🙂


My initial plan for lunch was to have an open-faced sandwich on toasted cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread with one half peanut butter and banana and the other half eggs with avocado but then I found myself out for an early lunch before picking up my number for the race.

I like to be flexible about what I eat so even though this change in lunch plans fell on a day that I was trying to eat certain foods before the race, I knew I could still eat something perfect to fill my lunch needs.

I switched my lunch mindset from the above plan to the below bowl of baked oatmeal (which is served with warmed milk – it’s so cute). Maureen’s Kitchen has THE BEST baked oatmeal there is, even better than the baked oatmeal from the Premiere Diner.

Maureen's Kitchen Baked Oatmeal

There’s a part of me that wants to figure out how to make this baked oatmeal at home and the other part of me knows there is no way I would come close to replicating it! It’s like a big bowl of mashed up muffin, total carby goodness.

Previous posts at Maureen’s Kitchen here and here.


All I could think about for dinner was a big plate of sweet potato wedges with avocado. I sliced and roasted a large sweet potato plus a regular potato and topped the wedges with some barbecue sauce and mashed avocado. So so good.

roasted potatoes

It’s not pretty but it’s certainly delicious. I could eat this for dinner every night and not grow tired of it.


We suddenly started eating Vitalicious VitaTops again. I bought a random package of the double chocolate muffin tops on sale recently and since my son has been enjoying them so much, we placed an order from the website and split it with my parents. I know I can make my own version of these muffin tops but sometimes I just don’t feel like it!

Lately I warm up a muffin top and then top it with sliced bananas, strawberries and Midnight Moo (the chocolate syrup from Trader Joe’s).

Vitamuffin Dessert

How I felt during the race:

As you know from my recap, I felt great even though it was pouring raining on me. My stomach may have felt a little lighter from the lack of vegetables although who really knows for sure. As I said, I can run just fine on fiber but I do think it’s worth it to me to skip eating vegetables in the day or days leading up to a race.

What I will do differently for the half marathon…

A half marathon is much more serious for me in terms of what I eat in advance especially for the upcoming half in May which usually involves warmer temperatures.

In addition to being carb-focused, I will probably add:

Salt. More salt will be added to my diet in the days leading up to the race, especially if it’s hot out by then!

Tomato soup. I did really well running the Runner’s World Hat Trick of races when I had tomato soup with a sandwich as dinner both nights before the races. It’s possible that my pre-race dinner will be a nice big plate of roasted potato wedges with a side of tomato soup.

Watermelon. I meant to eat watermelon last Friday but ran out of it in the house and did not have time to get to the store. Watermelon makes a huge difference in my hydration levels and how I feel overall.

Pizza. I usually have pizza two nights before the race or the night before – I think it will all depend on our weekend plans.

Lots of water. Because waiting to hydrate the day of the race is too late!

Less vegetables. By the Wednesday before the half, I will probably cut down my vegetable intake significantly and then down to none.

Bananas, Sweet Potatoes and Oatmeal. You know, just more of the usual.

Click here to check out what everyone else is eating for this What I Ate Wednesday!

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Are you good about being flexible when your meal plans change at the last-minute?

Favorite pre-race foods/meals?

Have you had Vitalicious muffin tops?


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    • says

      I know we eat totally differently but you can read my runners world hat trick post of what I ate – I packed so much food for me and ate it all – maybe it would help generate your planning ideas? probably not but maybe. You are so good at planning and packing portable food, I know you can do it! lots of bananas and prefried plantains, roasted sweet potato wedges – those are my suggestions for you 🙂

  1. says

    I also do fine with eating veggies before a run but I tend to skip them before a race. I might eat them at lunch the day before and just not at dinner. I wouldn’t say I’m great at being flexible when a meal plan changes. If I am really looking forward to something it’s hard to switch gears mentally and get in the mood for something else!
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…Weekly Recap and Arkansas WeekendMy Profile

  2. says

    I’ve learned to eat fewer veggies the day before a race too, especially in summer when I usually load up on refreshing salads, and also to increase the melon/berries because I’ve decreased veggies and other fibrous produce (though it breaks me to limit to 1 apple a day!) to ensure enough water intake.
    Alyssa @ renaissancerunnergirl recently posted…WIAW #52: Workday EatsMy Profile

  3. says

    I never really put much thought into pre-race meals but I do cut back on salads/excessive veggies. Growing up, my swim meal was grilled chicken, a big plate of pasta, and some green beans. Actually, that was my everyday meal HA when I was really young I would eat McDonald’s and somehow that would be the days I swam my best. Pizza is also another go-to for me. But anything high in protein seems to propel me since I don’t get a lot of protein in my everyday diet.
    Sarah @pickyrunner recently posted…Currently…My Profile

  4. says

    I love your sweet potato and avocado dinner – I was trying to figure a dinner last night that had those 2 elements but think you just solved my problem 😉 I’m pretty habitual with what I eat before and around races & it’s probably as much to do with routine, calming nerves and settling myself as it is with having the right fuel inside. Pasta bake with tomato sauce and aubergine is the eve before dinner.
    Fiona recently posted…Pre Paris Marathon 2016My Profile